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Friday, December 19, 2014

December 2014: Recommended friendly impact

The best opponent to play against is determined using a combination of Elo ratings and FIFA rankings. Let's look at the December 2014 FIFA ranking and we'll see the impact of one extra friendly. The difference in ranking is computed assuming all things remain equal, except the points of the given team and their recommended opponent.

The most popular opponent were again Northern Ireland (70), followed by Antigua and Barbuda (59) and American Samoa (29).


Of the top 20 teams, 3 would have gained points: Spain, Croatia and Mexico, but only Croatia would have climbed 1 spot.

Teams from the top 100 that would have gained the most (ranking-wise):

19 - Faroe Islands
16 - Liberia
15 - Canada

Antigua and Barbuda would have been the recommended opponent for the Faroe Islands and Liberia, while Canada would have benefited from a friendly against Northern Ireland.

Teams from the top 50 that would have gained the most (ranking-wise):

3 - Ecuador and Peru
2 - Ukraine, Slovenia, Mali, South Africa

The recommended opponent for Ecuador were Greece, with Wales being the top choice for Ukraine. The other teams should have played Northern Ireland.

Looking to improve your FIFA ranking? Use the e-mail address from my profile to contact me.

December Ranking - Team - Recommended opponent - Point difference - Rank difference


1 Germany Switzerland -31 0
2 Argentina Switzerland -23 0
3 Colombia Switzerland -18 0
4 Belgium Greece -23 0
5 Netherlands Switzerland -18 0
6 Brazil Switzerland -14 0
7 France Greece -12 -1
7 Portugal Greece -4 -1
9 Spain Greece 7 0
10 Uruguay Greece -4 0
11 Italy Greece 0 0
12 Switzerland Northern Ireland -6 0
13 England Greece -1 0
14 Chile Greece 0 0
15 Romania Wales -15 0
16 Costa Rica Greece -7 0
17 Czech Republic Northern Ireland -16 0
18 Algeria Northern Ireland -8 -1
19 Croatia Wales 3 1
20 Mexico Greece 2 0
21 Slovakia Northern Ireland -19 0
22 Tunisia Northern Ireland -13 -2
23 Austria Northern Ireland -11 -2
24 Greece Cape Verde Islands 8 1
25 Ukraine Wales 10 2
26 Ecuador Greece 11 3
27 USA Wales 8 0
28 Côte d'Ivoire Northern Ireland 4 1
29 Bosnia-Herzegovina Northern Ireland 9 0
30 Denmark Northern Ireland 7 0
31 Russia Northern Ireland 8 0
32 Israel Northern Ireland -6 0
33 Iceland Northern Ireland 2 0
34 Wales Northern Ireland 3 0
35 Senegal Northern Ireland -5 0
36 Scotland Northern Ireland 11 1
37 Ghana Northern Ireland 6 0
38 Serbia Northern Ireland 11 1
39 Guinea Northern Ireland -2 0
40 Cape Verde Islands Northern Ireland 10 0
41 Poland Northern Ireland 2 0
42 Cameroon Northern Ireland 5 0
43 Nigeria Northern Ireland 5 0
44 Sweden Northern Ireland 18 1
45 Hungary Cape Verde Islands 16 1
46 Zambia Northern Ireland 7 1
47 Slovenia Northern Ireland 21 2
48 Northern Ireland Antigua and Barbuda -13 -2
49 Turkey Northern Ireland 17 1
50 Mali Northern Ireland 12 2
51 Iran Northern Ireland 19 1
52 South Africa Northern Ireland 7 2
53 Peru Northern Ireland 25 3
54 Japan Northern Ireland 13 2
55 Trinidad and Tobago Northern Ireland 11 1
56 Congo DR Northern Ireland 9 1
57 Panama Northern Ireland 22 5
58 Albania Northern Ireland 19 4
59 Montenegro Northern Ireland 24 5
60 Egypt Northern Ireland 20 5
61 Congo Antigua and Barbuda 0 0
62 Togo Antigua and Barbuda 7 2
63 Burkina Faso Northern Ireland 14 4
64 Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland 19 5
65 Gabon Northern Ireland 10 1
66 Bulgaria Northern Ireland 29 6
67 Norway Northern Ireland 16 2
68 Rwanda Antigua and Barbuda -11 0
69 Korea Republic Northern Ireland 14 1
70 Finland Cape Verde Islands 24 1
71 Honduras Northern Ireland 20 2
72 Haiti Antigua and Barbuda 12 2
72 Guatemala Northern Ireland 15 2
74 Uzbekistan Northern Ireland 23 4
75 Jamaica Northern Ireland 16 4
76 Paraguay Northern Ireland 35 6
76 Uganda Northern Ireland 10 0
78 Libya Northern Ireland 29 7
79 Armenia Northern Ireland 37 9
80 Angola Antigua and Barbuda 11 0
81 United Arab Emirates Northern Ireland 19 1
81 Morocco Northern Ireland 21 1
81 Jordan Northern Ireland 20 1
84 Estonia Antigua and Barbuda 10 4
85 Bolivia Northern Ireland 52 5
86 Sierra Leone Antigua and Barbuda 19 5
87 Cyprus Antigua and Barbuda 8 2
88 Venezuela Northern Ireland 76 12
89 Benin Antigua and Barbuda 16 4
90 Malawi Antigua and Barbuda 6 1
90 El Salvador Northern Ireland 23 5
92 Lithuania Antigua and Barbuda 11 3
93 Oman Northern Ireland 17 4
94 Antigua and Barbuda Faroe Islands -1 0
95 Qatar Northern Ireland 14 3
96 Latvia Antigua and Barbuda 15 3
97 China PR Northern Ireland 25 8
98 Mozambique Antigua and Barbuda 7 3
99 Belarus Northern Ireland 32 10
100 Australia Northern Ireland 32 8
100 FYR Macedonia Northern Ireland 38 11
102 Saudi Arabia Northern Ireland 23 8
103 Iraq Northern Ireland 37 11
104 Faroe Islands Antigua and Barbuda 66 19
105 Tanzania Antigua and Barbuda 14 6
106 Dominican Republic Antigua and Barbuda 19 7
107 Botswana Antigua and Barbuda 11 5
108 Zimbabwe Antigua and Barbuda 11 5
109 Namibia Antigua and Barbuda 24 6
110 Sudan Antigua and Barbuda 19 4
111 Ethiopia Antigua and Barbuda 18 3
112 Canada Northern Ireland 49 15
113 Palestine Antigua and Barbuda 10 0
113 Cuba Antigua and Barbuda 24 4
115 Liberia Antigua and Barbuda 61 16
116 Kenya Antigua and Barbuda 29 5
116 Niger Antigua and Barbuda 19 3
118 St. Kitts and Nevis Faroe Islands 13 5
119 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Faroe Islands 9 3
120 Equatorial Guinea Antigua and Barbuda 61 14
121 Moldova Antigua and Barbuda 19 6
122 Bahrain Antigua and Barbuda 16 6
123 Lesotho Antigua and Barbuda 12 5
124 Kuwait Northern Ireland 18 8
125 Georgia Antigua and Barbuda 35 12
126 Lebanon Antigua and Barbuda 26 10
127 Burundi Antigua and Barbuda 22 7
128 Luxembourg Antigua and Barbuda 32 12
129 Aruba American Samoa 26 6
130 Philippines Antigua and Barbuda 9 1
130 Maldives Aruba 4 1
132 Liechtenstein Antigua and Barbuda 23 7
133 Guinea-Bissau Antigua and Barbuda 61 20
134 New Zealand Northern Ireland 64 21
135 Azerbaijan Antigua and Barbuda 32 12
135 Tajikistan Antigua and Barbuda 40 15
137 Vietnam Antigua and Barbuda 17 8
137 Mauritania Antigua and Barbuda 16 8
139 Kazakhstan Antigua and Barbuda 27 12
140 St. Lucia Aruba 6 1
141 Myanmar Aruba 6 2
142 Thailand Antigua and Barbuda 18 5
143 Afghanistan Aruba 8 1
144 Barbados Aruba 35 11
145 Central African Republic Antigua and Barbuda 61 20
146 Chad Antigua and Barbuda 61 19
147 Madagascar Faroe Islands 52 14
147 Malta Antigua and Barbuda 39 8
147 Turkmenistan Antigua and Barbuda 61 18
150 Korea DPR Northern Ireland 46 10
151 Syria Northern Ireland 85 26
152 Kyrgyzstan Aruba 13 2
153 New Caledonia Antigua and Barbuda 61 13
154 Malaysia Aruba 8 2
155 Grenada Aruba 20 5
156 Hong Kong Faroe Islands 24 6
157 Singapore Antigua and Barbuda 20 5
158 Curaçao Aruba -1 0
159 Indonesia Antigua and Barbuda 20 6
160 Laos American Samoa 6 2
161 Puerto Rico Aruba 35 10
161 Guam American Samoa 9 3
163 Suriname Antigua and Barbuda 61 17
164 Swaziland Aruba 11 5
165 Bangladesh Aruba 35 11
166 Tahiti Antigua and Barbuda 61 16
167 Guyana Antigua and Barbuda 61 15
168 Gambia Antigua and Barbuda 62 16
169 Montserrat American Samoa 25 4
170 Sao Tome e Principe Aruba 35 9
171 India Aruba 36 8
172 Sri Lanka American Samoa 26 7
173 Comoros American Samoa 26 7
173 Nicaragua Aruba 29 8
175 Belize Aruba 35 10
176 Yemen Faroe Islands 21 8
177 Turks and Caicos Islands American Samoa 26 10
178 Seychelles Aruba 36 11
179 Bermuda Antigua and Barbuda 62 16
179 Cambodia American Samoa 9 1
179 San Marino American Samoa 14 3
182 Chinese Taipei American Samoa 17 6
183 Solomon Islands Antigua and Barbuda 62 20
184 Dominica American Samoa 12 6
185 Timor-Leste American Samoa 25 12
186 Nepal American Samoa 26 13
186 Macau American Samoa 25 11
188 Pakistan American Samoa 26 12
189 South Sudan Faroe Islands 52 22
190 Mauritius Aruba 35 14
191 Vanuatu Antigua and Barbuda 61 24
192 Fiji Antigua and Barbuda 61 24
192 Samoa American Samoa 25 13
194 Mongolia American Samoa 25 12
195 Bahamas American Samoa 26 11
196 Tonga American Samoa 26 7
197 US Virgin Islands American Samoa 25 7
198 Brunei Darussalam American Samoa 26 8
199 Papua New Guinea Aruba 35 11
200 American Samoa Bhutan 26 10
201 Andorra American Samoa 20 7
202 British Virgin Islands American Samoa 25 11
202 Eritrea Aruba 35 13
204 Somalia American Samoa 25 12
205 Cayman Islands American Samoa 26 13
206 Djibouti American Samoa 26 14
206 Cook Islands American Samoa 25 12
208 Anguilla American Samoa 25 13
209 Bhutan American Samoa 26 14

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